Savoury tarts

It’s coming up to Easter and if you’re following a whole-food plant-based diet and planning a big meal on Easter Sunday, you may be wondering what to cook. These yummy savoury vegetable tarts may just be the thing you’re looking for.

Pastry can often be a sticking point for people on a plant-based diet for health reasons. Ready-made vegan pastry is easy to buy now, but the fat content is far from ideal. Whilst it may be completely dairy-free, they contain highly refined fats and oils as well as a selection of emulsifiers and other chemicals that don’t agree with the microbiome. Convenient but not healthful.

My aim in The Sensitive Foodie Kitchen is to create recipes that are amazingly tasty but also good for health. I’ve tried many different pastry options, but the one I find best is made using nut butter or tahini for the fat and wholegrain flour like spelt or a gluten free blend if needed. You can read more about making pastry this way here. Please be assured it’s not difficult as long as you follow the process!

For this tart I used hazelnuts as they provide a nice earthy flavour. As it’s not so easy to find ready made hazelnut butter, I made my own by lightly toasting the hazelnuts in the oven for a couple of minutes so they’re warm. The skins need rubbing off in a tea towel then you pop them in a high-speed blender until the nuts are broken down and form a thick paste. The warmth helps release the oils more readily and after a couple of goes of loosening the mix off the sides of the blender pot you get a rough nut butter that works brilliantly as the fat for the pastry.

I used a different type of flour this time – barley flour from Hodmedod’s. I’ve been experimenting with their different types of flours and grains. Barley is good for baking, cookies and pastry (or so the label states šŸ˜‰ ). And they’re right. It complements the hazelnuts perfectly. If you come across it I highly recommend – although not if you’re gluten-free sadly.

These tarts can be made with or without a lid, or if you want to be a bit fancy, with a lattice top. The recipe gives you enough pastry to make 2 fully lidded and latticed or 4 open tarts. It’s up to you how you want to do it, they all taste fab.

I’ve used ingredients that are in season at the moment, including delicious purple sprouting broccoli. Our local farm shop grows it and I’ve been making the most of it! I have some in the garden as well that’s nearly ready to cut – that’s going to be my Easter treat! But use whatever vegetables you like and are easily available at the time of year you’re cooking for.

The mix for the filling is made using butterbeans. They provide some extra plant protein as well as a lovely creamy texture. They’re pretty cheap too which is always useful.

I have some 12cm diameter tart tins that are perfect for making a good size individual tart. They’re bigger than the usual tins; the smaller the tin you have, the more tarts you can make. Use what you have to hand, or, if you like good hearty sized portions, get your hands on some larger tins like these ones before you start.

You can make these tarts a couple of days ahead if you wish – the flavour develops over time. They also freeze well so why not make a double batch and keep a couple in the fridge for when you have less time to cook?

I hope you enjoy these tasty tarts. They are a little more effort than many of my recipes, but definitely worth it. Do let me know how you get on as well as what you use for the filling. Enjoy!

Savoury vegetable tarts

A tasty main dish using whole ingredients for the pastry and seasonal veggies for the filling. Can be made with a full lid, lattice or no lid at all.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 3 tarts

Ingredients
  

For the pastry

  • 100 grams hazlenuts OR
  • 5 tbsp nut butter of choice
  • 125 grams wholemeal or gluten free flour of choice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 125 mls cold water

For the filling

  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 medium celery stick finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small clove of garlic grated
  • 100 grams purple sprouting broccoli - stems and flowers separated or broccoli of choice
  • 150 grams cooked butterbeans rinsed
  • 3 tbsp soya milk
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Make the pastry

  • If using hazelnuts: follow the instructions to make the hazelnut butter - see above blog post
  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the dried thyme and mix together.
  • Add the ground hazelnuts or nut butter to the bowl and lightly rub in to form a breadcrumb texture
  • Add 100 mls of water and stir into the flour mix, gradually bringing it together to form a firm not sticky ball. If the mix is too dry, carefully add extra water a little at a time to get the right texture. You should be able to press a finger print into the pastry without any sticky on your hands as seen in the picture below.
  • Leave the pastry to rest for 10 minutes.

Make the filling

  • Heat a couple of tablespoons of water in the base of a large pan. Add the onion, celery and carrot along with the bay leaf and broccoli stems. Simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes until slightly soft. Add the garlic and PSB flowers and cook for a couple more minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to cool. Remove the bay leaf.
  • Pop the butter beans, soya milk, mustard and nutritional yeast into a small blender post. Add a little salt and pepper and blend until smooth. You want it thick and gloopy as the photo show.
  • Pour the butterbean mix into the cooked vegetables and mix well to combine. Check the flavouring - add more salt, pepper or nutritional yeast as required.

Make the tarts

  • Pre -heat the oven to 180C
  • Place a sheet of non-stick baking paper on the worktop. Cut a portion of pastry off the ball and roll out to approx 2cm thick, large enough to fill a 12cm individual tart tin. Carefully peel off the paper and press into the tart tin. Trim the edges and prick the base with a fork. If making a full pie, repeat this one. If making open tarts repeat 4 times.
  • Place the pastry tins on a baking sheet and blind bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pastry from the oven and spoon in the filling so it just reaches the top if you are adding a full or lattice lid. Fill to the top if no lid.
  • If you are adding a full pastry lid, roll the pastry out to 2 cm thick and use another tart tin to cut out the right shape. Wet the edges of the pastry with a little soya milk and carefully turn upside down and place on top of the mix. Press the edges to the pastry case and pierce a couple of holes in the top to let out steam. Using a pastry brush, coat with a little soya milk to help it brown.
  • If you are making a lattice lid, roll out the pastry as above and cut thin strips. Gently place on top of the filled tart and weave a lattice. It is fiddly but looks good. Once done, brush the top with soya milk to help the pastry brown.
  • Pop the tarts back in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until the pastry is lightly browned and the filling is hot.
  • Serve hot with veggies of choice or leave to cool and reheat for 10 minutes when you are ready to serve.
Keyword celebration, gluten free, OMS friendly, plant protein, whole grains

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